The exhibition Look at Me! Portraits and Other Fictions from the ”la Caixa” Contemporary Art Collection examines portraiture, one of the oldest artistic genres, through a significant number of works of our times. Paintings, photographs, sculptures and videos shape a labyrinth of gazes that invite spectators to reflect themselves in the social mirror of portraits.
Fidelity and likeness to the portrayed subject have been an essential condition of portraits, although art has taught us that to portray is not to reproduce but to create an image and, in short, construct a fiction. Most of the works assembled here examine concepts of truth, appearance and representation, besides memory and fiction. Some put the normative canons of portraiture to the test, revealing its ruses and the conventions of society. Painting exposes masks and make-up, whereas photography experiments with the potential of fiction to produce disconcerting effects of reality. Some artists are interested in the anonymity of portraits, while others dissect social roles and address the problems of representing identity. Some works define a figure or a face, while others depict some of the distinctive symbols of our society. Most of the works confirm that in actual fact we all see ourselves as images.